Jamie Goode rates Lokaia…

Clayton Reabow and Craig McNaught are part of the very fabric of Franschhoek, one could even say they’ve taken root in the soil. Clayton has been at the helm at Moreson for almost 15 years whilst Craig is following in his Father’s footsteps making wine at Stonybrook a little further down the road.

Lokaia is their supergroup, a long remonstrated over the project which has finally taken shape with their maiden releases – a Semillon, Chardonnay and
Cabernet Franc – the latter of which has already been met with enthusiasm from Greg Sherwood MW who scored it with 93 points. 

All three wines are produced from sought after single vineyard sites in Franschhoek and made without any oak contact or malocalctic fermentation whatsoever, allowing the cultivar, terroir and vintage to shape the identity of the wine and exhibit the truest expression possible.

Dr Jamie Goode earned his PHD in Plant Biology before becoming a respected wine writer, lecture, judge and author having penned four major books.

He’s just given the range a once over, analysing each on wineanorak.com (a world leading wine blog he founded in 1999) and we were so thrilled with his assessment of each wine that we’ve detailed his notes for each below.

Lokaia Pound of Flesh No-Hoek Semillon 2020 Franschhoek, South Africa
11% alcohol. From a low-yielding dry-farmed vineyard planted in 1995. Fermented in stainless steel after a bit of skin contact with high turbidity to create more flavour and no malolactic. Beautiful clear, pure aromatics with lemon, lemongrass, dried herbs and some subtle straw notes. The palate is fresh, pure and linear, showing delicate, refined notes of lime, green tea and some pear skin. This is very pure, bright and refined, with a crystalline structure and a lovely acid line. Very fine, delicate and understated. 93/100

Lokaia The Sandman Valley Floor Amphora Chardonnay 2020 Franschhoek, South Africa
12.4% alcohol. Chardonnay from the sandy soils of the Franschhoek valley floor. Fermented and matured in contact with its crushed and destemmed skins and punched down twice a day until the end of fermentation, which takes place in a 500-litre terracotta amphora. The bottom is lined by mature, dried out stems, while the top is covered with a layer of olive oil. Two months of skin contact, then it is bottled unfined. For an orange wine, this is crisp, refined and very fine, with lemon, mandarin and green apple fruit as well as a chalky, slightly saline mineral core, which pulsates with energy. Lovely purity here, with a touch of salinity, and just a little fine spicy grip from the skin contact. There’s a brightness to the fruit that I often find from sandy soils, and the skin fermentation in amphora has added flavours that might otherwise be absent from an early pick like this. Lots of excitement here. 94/100

Lokaia Call of the Void Dutoitskop Peak Amphora Cabernet Franc 2020 Franschhoek, South Africa
11.5% alcohol. Early pocked from a rocky east-facing slope of Dutoitskop Peak. Fermented and matured on the skins in a small amphora for four months. Bottled unfined. This is quite lovely: why don’t more winegrowers pick early? It’s vibrant and juicy with pure cherry and berry fruits, sitting on top of a chalky, stony structure with a bit of tannin and some nice acidity. This is bright, floral and expressive with astonishing freshness and drinkability, and no hint of under-ripeness: everything here is in harmony. It’s the sort of red you’d serve a little chilled, and although there is some complexity here, this is a bottle that will empty fast. What I like about it is that it’s an early picked red that doesn’t feel like any quality has been compromised by picking earlier. 93/100

Call of the Void, Cabernet Franc – only 530 bottles produced

The Sandman, Chardonnay – only 521 bottles produced

Pound of Flesh, Semillon – only 723 bottles produced

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